Her Florence speech on Brexit has made Theresa May an irrelevance

Demonstrators against Brexit gathered to challenge Theresa May outside the Florentine venue of her speech.

The best way to understand the stupidity of Theresa May’s speech on Brexit would be if an interviewer approached Jeremy Corbyn and asked how it feels for him to be the de facto leader of the Conservative government.

That is what Mrs May has done; she has admitted that she has no ideas of her own, so she has adopted Mr Corbyn’s and kicked the Brexit can another two years down the line. Perhaps she hopes she will have been removed from 10 Downing Street by then.

Her speech, touted as providing clarity on the UK’s desires for Brexit, turned out to be waffle. And it has disgusted commentators on all sides.

Here’s an example. She said the result of the EU referendum showed the people of the UK “want more direct control of decisions that affect their daily lives; and that means those decisions being made in Britain by people directly accountable to them. The strength of feeling that the British people have about this need for control and the direct accountability of their politicians is one reason why, throughout its membership, the United Kingdom has never totally felt at home being in the European Union.”

According to whom? This Writer does not recall being asked about that – how about you? From the indignation on the social media, I would imagine not:

“The eyes of the world are on us,” she said – but did any of the European dignitaries she invited to Florence actually turn up?

https://twitter.com/AJobTracker/status/911277080930856960

“I said that the United Kingdom would seek to secure a new, deep and special partnership with the European Union,” she told us. The response was predictable:

This should have made alarm bells chime in many people’s heads: “To make this partnership work, because disagreements inevitably arise, we will need a strong and appropriate dispute resolution mechanism.” What, like the ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ system that became the main reason the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty was scuppered? No, thank you. We don’t need any agreements that put corporations about law-making governments!

Here’s the part where she adopted Labour’s policy on a transitional period, although she tried to claim ownership of the idea and put a time limit of two years on it. She said a “period of implementation would be in our mutual interest. That is why I am proposing that there should be such a period after the UK leaves the EU… During the implementation period access to one another’s markets should continue on current terms and Britain also should continue to take part in existing security measures. The framework for this strictly time-limited period, which can be agreed under Article 50, would be the existing structure of EU rules and regulations.”

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/911275298364301313

https://twitter.com/joncstone/status/911229080808382465

And she caved in to the EU on the question of the UK’s payments to that organisation. They will continue, even – in part – after we have left the bloc altogether: “The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership. And as we move forwards, we will also want to continue working together in ways that promote the long-term economic development of our continent. This includes continuing to take part in those specific policies and programmes which are greatly to the UK and the EU’s joint advantage, such as those that promote science, education and culture – and those that promote our mutual security… We would want to make an ongoing contribution to cover our fair share of the costs involved.”

The commitment to go on paying caused worry in certain quarters – because we know who will foot the bill in the end:

The speech won the disapproval of – well, practically everybody:

https://twitter.com/WildTimothy/status/911230804197543937

There was plenty of speculation on the input of Mrs May’s deeply-divided Conservative cabinet:

And there was plenty of nit-picking among the less-clear parts of the speech (which, let’s be honest, was most of it):

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/911226320306294785

Representatives of the EU were utterly non-plussed:

But the most telling reaction has to be the response of the financial markets – here signified by trading on the Pound. Look what happened to Sterling during the speech:

Last word has to go to Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn – the man whose position Mrs May seems to have stolen wholesale. For him, it was hard to tell whether the biggest disappointment of the speech was the fact that it stated only things he had already explained, or the fact that none of the exotic location could be seen while it was being delivered by our robotic prime minister:


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6 thoughts on “Her Florence speech on Brexit has made Theresa May an irrelevance

  1. marcusdemowbray

    May’s script writers and Special Advisers write her bland, detail-free words, she speaks them with no comprehension of what they mean, and no comprehension of the irony that what she does is often the exact opposite of what the words mean, e.g. behind her on the wall in Florence: “Shared Future”…which she is trying to get out of! All her words, like “Strong and Stable” are just like Chapter Titles in a book, but apart from the titles all the pages are blank.

    May’s Book of Chapter Titles.

  2. oldandgrumpy

    She’s on another power grab aiming to secure her leadership position until Brexit is completed. She’s gambled that the Tories would not try to remove her for another 2 years while she is in the middle of negotiations. Nice one Tess.

  3. NMac

    Theresa May speaks only for a hard-line, extremely unpleasant, right wing cabal of the nasty Tory Party, who are totally incapable of working as partners alongside people from other nations. Neither I nor any of my family have never felt in any way “uncomfortable” with the EU. We have, however, felt distinctly uncomfortable with Tory governments.

  4. Justin

    direct accountability of our politicians, let’s look at some shining examples shall we!!!
    1 the dwp/wca assessment process- coroner’s report, misconduct in public office, still making mistakes what happened- nothing
    2. universal credit- a mess-still being rolled out despite causing issues
    3. sanctions to the most vunerable
    4 high levels of suicides- recognised that suicide is a issue and still carrying on with the high suicide assessment process.
    5 reports against fitness to work assessors- complaints process- are they struck of/retrained, do they carry on as usual after a complaint- yes- so nothing is done
    6.Millions spent on riot control vehicles for london to learn they cannot use them, what happens- Nothing – we needed high rise fire tenders
    7 tory incompetence- growing by the day

  5. Zippi

    This is ineptitude of the highest order! Did nobody, in either House, foresee this, when the Referendum Bill was voted on? Why did NOBODY plan for a £eave vote? Theresa May has WASTED so much time. What if she isn’t granted a transitional period? What plan has been made for that scenario? Why trigger Article 50 with no plan in place? That WAS her fault! What do she and her cronies think is going to happen? Aye, we want the best deal possible (whatever that transpired to be) but this is a negotiation. She said that she was keeping her cards close to her chest; so close, it would seem, that they have fallen down her top and been lost in the street! The country voted to leave the E.U. not this shambles (Jacob Rees-Mogg). This situation is unbelievable and painful to witness. Is there anybody who has a clue who can do something?

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